How Things Heat Up – A Q&A Over Fire Safety And Fabric Buildings

Answers From The Experts Concerning Fire Safety And Fabric Buildings

At Temporary Warehouse Structures, we pride ourselves on top quality clear-span fabric buildings and temporary warehouses, but even more than that we care about the safety of those using the structures and the things housed inside them. to that end, we set out to find and answer some questions and concerns specifically over fire safety involving fabric buildings. This Q & A seeks to address the contentious issue of fire safety in fabric structures. Enjoy!

  • Q. Are fabric products fire-rated?
  • A. Sure. Quality products such as ExxoTec™ PVC by Legacy meet all fire-rating requirements including the ASTM 84 building code and NFPA 701, California State Fire Marshal requirements just to name a few.
  • Q. Are the fabric structures flammable?
  • A. As mentioned earlier, all quality products in the niche are fire-rated, meaning they don’t easily burn. In case of a fire breakout, the fabric slowly melts away and in the process, allows the heat to escape, reducing the risk of any major damage. Moreover, these products come with effective ventilation systems designed to facilitate an escape route for smoke the leading cause of death during fire breakouts.
  • Q. Do fabric buildings come with your conventional fire protection sprinkler systems? Are they really necessary?
  • A. While fire protection sprinkler systems are essential, they technically aren’t designed for all structures. Whether these systems are a requirement or not usually depends on the structure’s application and not necessarily the material used. However, ATTT or water deluge systems are readily available where needed.
  • Q. Does the material used in fabric buildings align to the essential NFPA 701, fire propagation performance criteria?
  • A. Sure. It is a requirement in the overall building code.
  • Q. What ratings has the NFPA issued fabric structures?
  • A. The NFPA has classified fabric buildings under Group IV. Just to be clear on how safe Group IV-rated buildings are, you don’t actually need a sprinkler system if the fire area is less than 12000 square feet.
  • Q. In regards to fire classification and fire flow calculation requirements, where do fabric structures stand?
  • A. Again, all fabric products released by ExxoTec™ are classified as Type II B structures meaning they meet the NFPA 701 Test Method 2).
  • Q. Are there any actual fabric buildings with installed fire protection systems such as sprinklers?
  • A. Yes; there is an infinite amount of fabric structures with effective fire protection solutions ranging from hangars to sports complexes just to name a few.
  • Q. How exactly are these “fire protection solutions” systems entailed in the whole structure, for instance, a hangar?
  • A. When it comes to fabric products, fire protection features are actually incorporated in the design, specifically into the frame and sub-frame. Think of it as customization. All buildings we’ve designed with fire protection came with specialized frames to account for the extras.
  • Q. Can you opt for additional materials to enhance the fire protection of these products? And if so, which materials serve as the best?
  • A. Of course. There is a wide array of cladding options on the market including one to two-hour fire rated walls. However, it is of paramount importance to consult an expert before incorporating any type of cladding, so as to get enlightened on your fire suppression needs.

After 36 years of working in the dynamic German clear span tent industry, two friends decided to join forces and bring “industrial grade” clear span tent structures to the United States, a first at the time. Sure, there were a number of event companies offering clear span tents for use as temporary storage facilities, but our company was the first to incorporate innovative designs, strength, and durability in one package. Overall, expect our products to be heavier, thanks to durable larger profile aluminum rafters, galvanized steel purlins and galvanized steel reinforcing joint inserts. Unfortunately, we don’t offer event/party structures due to this. Our products, though, are all-weather thanks to Thermo Roofs designed to offer dead air space insulation so that no snow or water can accumulate at the heaves. For more related articles, visit our blog. Please call or contact us today if you have any questions!

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